Why Innovation in Farming Takes a Collaborative Effort

I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation lately — finding new ways to manage those persistent challenges each of us face in our businesses. Your challenges are different than mine, but we both have a constant need to come up with fresh approaches to problems as the world changes around us.

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Coming up with new ideas is a heavy load for any one person, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. As David Eddy will tell you, if American Fruit Grower had to rely solely on my ideas, we might be in a lot of trouble. Get other members of your team involved in the discussion. They’re in the middle of the fray every day, and they will have some good suggestions you never would have considered.

Look outside your operation as well. Whether you’re talking to other fruit growers or producers of other specialty crops, you’re bound to come across an abundance of ways people are approaching the same problems you’re trying to tackle. Don’t stop there. Take a look at other types of ag, or other industries altogether. No matter what they’re producing, every business has to deal with labor or technology adoption or shipping. Find out what they’re doing.

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We’re going to be covering a lot of ideas like this at Growing Innovations 2019 in Las Vegas on November 13-14, and I will be seeing a lot of you there. For those of you who can’t make it to Vegas this month, we’ve got some innovative ideas for you as well on this site. American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower, along with related brands American Vegetable Grower and Florida Grower, are launching our Opportunity 2020 series.

With all the external pressures impacting your operation these days, you need some examples of on-farm innovation and new ideas that are working for growers right now. Stay tuned. There’s much more to come.